“The Apache don’t have a word for love,” he said.
“Know what they both say at the marriage? The squaw-taking ceremony?”
“Tell me.”
“Varlebena. It means forever. That’s all they say.”
Louis L’Amour-Hondo

Dear Readers,

We celebrated thirty years of marriage yesterday. My Sweet man and me. Meandering country roads, remembering all that has passed. This year carried more significance than the previous years. Year twenty-nine found us recovering from open heart surgery, balanced on the edge of life. We remembered the pain, the first hard steps, a hazy blur of recovering and rebuilding.

I look back to the early days, when marriage, blending two families, was similar to putting a puzzle together. Some pieces, shoved into place, while others easily dropped in. Before you realize it, the rushing of time has brought an empty nest, ten beautiful grandchildren, another furry friend, and retirement.

Comprehending we would, we could, come this far.

Puzzle pieces meld, slip together in such a way, one overlaps the other. Time softens us, we have blended in love, history, commitment.Varlebena.” Forever. Varlebena, theres beauty in the sound of it on my heart.

Forever. Old love. Thirty years. Love has grown. Comfort comes in familiarity, growth comes when the seed of Varlebena, forever, is sown. The ground furrowed deep with seeds of commitment. A smile, a touch, a knowing of each other’s needs, without spoken word.

We live simply, love simply, celebrate simply.

It was in our quiet way of slipping off, slipping away for time out of time, we found ourselves meandering through country roads, and small towns.

Conversation turned the pages of thirty well lived, fully lived years together, even in, in spite of, the hard edges of life. In spite of crumbs on the countertop, a minutia of emptied pockets, ball caps, and tiny scraps of paper spread throughout the house. I still love him. Varlebena. Forever. 

In spite of my temper tantrums when pain is stronger than me, the tears, the preaching, foot stomping selfishness, he still loves me. Varlebena. Forever. 

How did we get here? To this forever place?

Perseverance, giving and receiving grace, serving. Apologies, whether needed or not, Time together in prayer and in the Word. Knowing when to stay, when to state your case, knowing when to walk away.

Making time to meander down country roads. Making time to be together and just be. Crinkled eye smiles. Tears when there  is pain.

Is it perfect? Not this side of Heaven. But. It. Is. Good. Old love is good. It melds and fits, melts over us as warm sunshine.

Our love is deep and worn. Worn as the lines etched deep in our faces. Worn as comfortable as my favorite pair of jeans or white tee. Worn as his wrinkled hand holding mine.

I cry out for more days, more years, more time. And somehow I stay present here with him. And with HIM, The One who melded us together.

Happy Anniversary My Sweet Man. You are my soft place to fall. Varlebena, My Love.

“Varlebena. It means forever. That’s all they say.”
Louis L’Amour-Hondo

Gifts of Grace 

I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you my own daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. Sharing the realness of life. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.

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